Guest Author - Megan Nowak
Service projects are an integral part to the Girl Scout experience. It teaches girls to reach out beyond their circle to help others in need. Girls as young as Daisies and as old as Ambassadors will all do plenty of service projects during the Girl Scout years. Here are a few ideas for service projects that Daisies can do.
A great way to show appreciation for our armed forces is to send care packages to troops overseas. Through a non-profit organization called AnySoldier.com you can get into contact with any number of military personnel to send packages to. They have a huge database of army, navy, marines, airman, sailor, coast guardsman. Some of the most sought after products by them are things we take for granted on a daily basis. These men and women would love a package (or two) from some little girls that contain travel size shampoo/conditioner, soap, trail mix, chips, chocolate, magazines, movies and more. Also including envelopes, pens and paper is good way to possibly get a reply back.
Young children can understand how much another child would love to have a birthday cake and birthday supplies. While some children in any country do get something as basic as a birthday (even if it is with just family) there are plenty of kids out there who donít get one. Another good service project is making birthday boxes. Fill two boxes with different birthday supplies (cake mix, frosting, balloons, streamers, candles) and donate them to a local homeless shelter or abuse shelter. Make one box just for a girl and another box just for a boy. Allow the girls to help shop for the supplies to be included in the boxes!
While homeless shelters get plenty of donations and volunteers during Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is a big need for supplies and donations all year long. Instead of doing it during the high time wait until spring when stock is low at shelters and food pantries and run clothing or food drives. Have the girls ask around at businesses if donation boxes can be set up (donít forget to join them). Make posters to hang up at the library, post office and anywhere else you can think of. Run the donation program for about a month, checking the boxes weekly. At the end organize everything (boxed food/pasta in one pile cans in another etc.) and then have the girls deliver the goods to an organization they choose.
To sum it all up, Daisies can do anything if they put their minds to it. Allow the girls to pick their own service projects. Let them plan it from the beginning that way they feel like they own the project. Take pictures to memorialize their good work. And reach out to local businesses for donations.
Good site to obtain needs/wants from service members: http://www.anysoldier.com